Expert Sleeper’s Disting MK4
The Disting MK4 is a 4HP digital super module. It has almost everything: VCO’s, filters, logic, quantizer, sample playing capabilities, clockable LFO, slew limiter, full wave rectifier, reverb (stereo or dual), delay, and the list goes on. You can load your own samples on the included SD and use them as one shots or loops single cycle wave forms. The moment these modules are available they are quickly sold out, so finding one second hand may be your best bet. Many users swear by them and have more than one in their modular rig and can you blame them? With so much functionality you could build a complex arrangement with just a few Distings. But how can you navigate the plethora of algorithms with such a tiny screen? This is easy with Synth Modes. Synth Modes is an unofficial companion app for your smart phone. It’s like having the manual in your pocket and provides the bonus ability to search for functions. Synth Modes makes your Disting experience a bit easier and allows the user more time applying the modules many functions to their current patch.
The retail price of a new Disting MK4 is $189 USD.
Orthogonal Devices ER-301 Sound Computer
The ER-301 is a 30HP “sound computer”, that is the name displayed on the front panel and it is absolutely the most concise and honest description of the module you could think of. This constantly updated gorgeously retro inspired multi-module can do nearly any task you ask it to, with the caveat that you build some of the internal modules yourself within the ER-301, or borrow units from other users off the the very active forum. One user made a very impressive Clouds clone called Ultra Violet Granular, proving just how powerful the sound computer can be. In terms of signal routing, the ER-301 offers an experience much like working an analog board in a recording studio. The internal modules allows you to route and share modulation, audio, cv, and gate anywhere within the framework, much like an enormous patchbay (limited by CPU usage of course). Unlike the Disting MK4, you can build your own synthesizers and math functions along with the devices included on the current 0.4.10 firmware. The ER-301 is deep, very deep but you have a guide. Neil Parfitt has a long and wonderfully cheerful tutorial series on YouTube called “Getting Started with the ER-301.”
The retail price of a new ER-301 Sound Computer is $900 USD.
Percussa Super Signal Processor
The Percussa SSP is a 60HP goliath strength multifunction module. It’s armed to the teeth with high resolution in/outs and a very powerful ARM Quad Core processor, there is literally no other module on the market with this kind of computing power. The Percussa SSP offers many of the same features as the ER-301 and Disting MK4 but with a much larger screen and 4 endless encoders. The powerhouse module sports a 1600x480 pixel wide format full colour LVDS IPS display. In other words, it looks beautiful and the impressive GPU can render 3D images. The SSP has 16 inputs and 8 outputs, DC coupled, 32 bit resolution, supporting 48khz, 96khz and 192khz sample rates. It also has 2 USB inputs, meaning you are able to control the SSP via a class compliant USB midi device. Not just that, it also has MPE support so you can use a Roli Seaboard, Continuum, K-Board or LinnStrument with your eurorack. If that’s not enough you can record audio directly to your computer via the USB as well. Some of the included modules are a wave table oscillator with true 3d morphing, a multichannel recorder (up to 16 inputs and 8 outputs simultaneously to disk (flash) as WAV), wave shaper, sequencer, granular processor, comb filter and many more. If you want something else you can build it in the 2D patching grid directly on the SSP, and with the powerful CPU it can run at high sampler rates and resolution. Percussa recently ended a Kickstarter for a second module, the Percussa mSSP which houses the same premium components for a fraction of the price, both monetarily and in precious HP. Unfortunately, the kickstarter did not reach it’s goal, but we are rooting for another run this year, fingers crossed!
Percussa SSP forum: https://forum.percussa.com/
Percussa SSP walk-through video:
The retail price of a new Percussa SSP is $2000.